Updated: Dec 11, 2020
Written by Trish-Ellen Jackson
Island life in the sun can be lots of fun! However, what we have experienced in the last 8 months has changed our perspective. “I”sland life is not as much fun considering it represents being alone and away from all that you love! During this Covid-19 pandemic, you feel the brunt of seclusion and the burden of loneliness; much like being on an island by yourself. As a result of this pandemic you are isolated and forced to stay on your own island figuratively speaking. The current restrictions in place limiting human interaction and much needed social contact, are eroding our sense of normalcy. But wait!!! All is not lost. Fostering, mending, and maintaining healthy friendships CAN HELP YOU!!!
Research concludes that friendship is an essential component of life, more so now than ever before. Having positive, and encouraging friends are beneficial to your mental and physical health. The old adage says you can share joy and divide burdens with friends. Thus, making the joy exponentially better, while decreasing the weight of burdens. Intent is different from impact! One is a wish and the other, a result. MAKE A VALUABLE SUBSTANTIAL IMPACT!! You can do this simply, by making it your goal to be deliberate about being a great friend. Friends are honest, compassionate, and dependable.
Practical ways to show mutual support for each other begins with making time. Set a calendar reminder to call and check on your friend. It makes you dependable and planning helps you remember. When you have an opportunity to converse with friends be open and honest, vulnerability lends itself to great cathartic exchanges. A great practice is to listen actively, that allows the other person to feel heard, therefore diminishing the feeling of loneliness. Do not judge. Friends are allowed to have differing opinions and still be friends. Choose empathic responses, like “I understand why you feel that way ”or “What can I do to help you.” Avoid phrases like “It is not that bad” or "Try to get over it.”
I know times seem tough right now, but with help, we can do it! Take time to be a good friend and change the trajectory of your friend’s life. More importantly, it is the foundation for recreating a new normal during this pandemic. Just imagine if everyone began to hone in on being compassionate, thoughtful, and honest on purpose. Doing this would give us the mental support we need to overcome this challenge. Being an unwavering friend is the bridge that will carry us through the storm. In closing, it costs nothing to be thoughtful so start today, No man is an “I”sland because we need each other. Make it a practice to BE A GOOD FRIEND!